December, the holiday season is here and as we draw a close to the year, it is time to go for one last vacation of 2016. While there are several destinations to choose from within India itself, if you love the winters and hilly areas, we have a list of the best hill stations to visit in India in December. Brace yourself as it will be chilly and you will need your woollens but being off season, you can get more time with nature. Here’s where we recommend you go this month to have a splendid winter vacation. Also Read - IOA President Narinder Batra Says Postponed Olympic Qualifiers Will Happen, Asks NSFs to Share Athletes' Training Plans

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We start with a relatively tamer option where the winter is pleasant during the day and the evenings are chilly. You will need your jumper in the night but it isn’t extremely cold. Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra is one of the most popular hill stations in the region and the winding roads leading up to it make for a wonderful drive. Mahabaleshwar is famous for its strawberry farms, jams and sweet corn. The hill station has several vantage points from where you can get a bird’s eye view of the hills. En route to Mahabaleshwar, you can also stop at Panchgani which has a few sightseeing attractions to offer. Mahabaleshwar is one destination that is perfect for honeymooners, families and solo travelers as it has something to offer to all.



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Munnar

Photograph: Wikimedia commons

Photograph: Wikimedia commons

In the beautiful state of Kerala, Munnar is a hill station that is perfect to visit in the month of December. The lush greenery, tea plantations, rolling hills and misty climate makes for a romantic sojourn in the lap of nature. Munnar is perched at an altitude of 5,200 ft above sea level in the Idukki district. The hill station is not just for nature lovers or those looking for a relaxing vacation, even adventure lovers can come here for activities like trekking, paragliding, boating and more. Munnar is at the confluence of three rivers and will leave you mesmerized with its waterfalls, hills, forests and valleys. The hill station also has a wildlife sanctuaries, the first ever tea museum, a bird sanctuary, national parks and smaller hill stations around it.

Gulmarg

Gulmarg-Khyber-resort

For those of you who love the snow and do not mind harsh winters, Gulmarg is one of the places that should be on your list of hill stations to visit this December. The hill station is known as India’s premier ski destination as it remains covered in snow making it apt for skiing. But for those who are not a big fan of this sport, there are other activities like the gondola ride which gives you a breathtaking panoramic view of the hill station. Gulmarg is beautiful even during the summers but for a white winter, you should visit it in December. Gulmarg is also home to the highest golf course in the world where you can try a hand at your golfing skills. And don’t forget to have a snow fight and making angles in the snow lying down.

ALSO SEE 5 best ski resorts in Gulmarg

Mount Abu

mount-abu

The only hill station in the desert land of Rajasthan, Mount Abu is near Jaipur and is surrounded by the Aravalli range and coniferous trees. Mount Abu is pleasant during summer and cool during winter. The Nakki Lake is its prime attraction and couples can go for a romantic boat ride here making for a beautiful backdrop for photographs. When here, you can also shop for traditional Rajasthani handicrafts that make for great souvenirs. Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary  is another attraction here and is home to wolves, hyenas, jackals and more. Dilwara Temples that are an architectural marvel are also famous in Mount Abu. They are known for their exquisite stone carvings and are dedicated to Jain Tirthankars. The Sunset Point should not be missed in the evening.

Gangtok

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Looking for a hill station that is off the beaten track? Consider Gangtok that offers one of the best views of nature in a serene environment. Due to its location, not many venture for a trip to Gangtok making it one of the few places that are relatively untouched in India. The hill station experiences extreme cold in the winter and is ideal for those who love this weather. It is located in the lower Himalayas at a height of 1650m above sea level and offers views of Mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world. Gangtok is home to a number of monasteries but it also has a vibrant nightlife which is a fine balance between tradition and modernity. Visit the Rumtek Monastery and enjoy the blend of cultures that range from Tibet, Chinese, Bhutanese and Indian.

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Mussoorie

Mussoorie-summer-vacation

Called the ‘queen of hills’ Mussoorie is another must-see hill station in India. The month of December is pleasantly cold making it a popular tourist attraction. Mussoorie is one the most popular hill stations in Uttarakhand and is home to waterfalls, temples and other smaller hill stations. Happy Valley, the Shedup Choepelling Temple and Lal Tibba are some of the most popular sightseeing points in the hill station. Mussoorie Lake is a tourist attraction that has recently been developed where you can go boating while Cloud’s End is one of the first few bungalows that were built here. If you want a feel of the Tibetan culture, go to Happy Valley which is home to over 5,000 Tibetan refugees. The Kempty Falls are another popular sightseeing attraction that you shouldn’t miss when in Mussoorie.

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These hill stations are one of the most beautiful ones in India and make for a splendid vacation for those who love the mountains and the cool breeze surrounded by nature’s best treasures.

ALSO SEE Top 15 hill stations in India

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